Choice of ruins of St. Paul’s as wonder of the Portuguese world promotes tourism in Macau

12 June 2009

Macau, China, 12 June – The choice of the Ruins of St. Paul’s (Ruinas de Sao Paulo) as one of the New 7 Wonders of the Portuguese World’ is “a big boost for our efforts in the promotion of Macau,” said Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) director Joao Manuel Costa Antunes on Thursday, cited by news agency MacauNews.

“On the year that the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region is celebrated, listing the Ruins of St. Paul’s as one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the Portuguese World’ is an honour for us and it certainly will help to promote Macau in Portugal and in the other Portuguese speaking countries,” Costa Antunes pointed out.

The façade of the former Mater Dei Church (Igreja de Madre de Deus) is part of the Historic Centre of Macau, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2005.

The Ruins of St. Paul’s is made up of the façade of what was originally the Church of Mater Dei built between 1602 and1640, the ruins of St. Paul’s College (Colégio de S. Paulo), which stood adjacent to the Church, both destroyed by a fire in 1835.

The baroque design of the granite façade is unique in China, and carries some sculptured western and oriental motifs. St. Paul’s College was the first western-style university in the Far East and it prepared missionaries for the dissemination of Catholicism in Asia.

The “7 Portuguese Wonders of the World” include monuments such as the fortresses of Diu, in India, and Mazagão in Morocco, the Bom Jesus Basilica in Goa, also in India, the Old Town of Santiago in Cape Verde, the Convent of São Francisco de Assis da Penitência and convent of São Francisco e Ordem Terceira, both in Brazil. (macauhub)